Release 16 is in full swing and there is a ton to see and quite a bit to do. I say quite a bit to do since those of us playing for the last two releases have checked off a lot of items on the list already. But if you’re brand new to the game for this release, oh my goodness, you better get started.

One of the first things to notice is of course the new content. We have the Grand Tour and the Necropolis is ready for opening day of the dead. The Necropolis has been on the list of places to visit for a couple of releases and now we finally have it.

There’s also been a lot of changes to the visual style of the Realm as well. The Overland map for the Hidden Vale looks dramatically different, we also have more festive trees and now vendors have signs on the outside of their shops to let you know what sort of merchant they are before you run inside and throw gold coins at them. This will keep you from making the embarrassing mistake of trying to sell rusty swords in the dress shop.

Along with several new locations are some new quests. While wandering the streets of Soltown, I ended up in the pub (like that part is news) and discovered a couple of the patrons could use my help. Seems many of the homesteaders are in fact refugees from their own lands and had to abandon their homes as the undead came storming through. One man asked if I would return to his farm to retrieve some key that was most important and dear to him. Really? You want me to return to some undead infested farm to retrieve a key? No interest in saving a loved one or bringing back some treasured family heirloom? You want a key? All right then.

But when I got to the right place I began to question this chap. I checked the map several times and I was indeed where I was supposed to be, but this is no farm. It’s not even farmland. Many would call it a swamp! And this is not your beautiful house. And there is no presence of your beautiful wife. I was sent to a shanty in the middle of a swamp. Sir, you are a liar and thine pants are on fire!

I did make a couple of discoveries though. He had a strange new contraption tucked away in the attic of his hovel. It was a wondrous device, but I’m not entirely sure what it does. It has valves and dials and he had many tall bottles sitting next to it. I questioned him on the matter, but he seemed quite hesitant to answer me. I’ve got my eye on you my good man. Farmland indeed!

Another new change is that Ardoris has become a center of attention. We have some new people to meet, new quests and of course the grand opportunity to meet with the spirit-talkers. Now which one should I hire to take me into the depth of the undead so I won’t get left behind?

And apparently, there are more people getting lost on the streets of the city than just me. Now, when you find a landmark such as the exit, the market, the bank, the pub or the town center, it is marked on the compass. The size of the icon also dictates how far away the landmark is and will increase in size as you get closer. Very handy indeed!

New adventures and of course the Grand Tour awaits and who knows what else is waiting out there to be discovered. It’s time to put on the combat leggings, grab a bow and put on my explorers hat and get out there!

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What can this strange device be? What does all the tubes do and why do they lead into this tank? Oh, do these dials go all the way to 11?

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Oh my goodness, Mandrake root. Does it taste good if you eat it straight?

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Braemar is looking quite lush and green in this edition

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This forest looks quite inviting and not in anyway creepy and scary

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I like the new signs so you can see what sort of shops a city has to offer. This place clearly offers explosives.

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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